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Sony Shows First Widescreen HDTV Monitors, Progressive-Scan DVD Player

Indianapolis – Sony used the CEDIA Expo 2000 to unveil a pair of rear-projection widescreen HDTV monitors for sale this November in the high-end XBR line, and the company’s first ES-series video product – a progressive scan DVD player with Super Audio CD playback capability.

Both the HDTV monitors and DVD/SACD player will be sold to select dealers authorized to carry XBR and ES series products, stated Vic Pacor, president of the Sony Home Network Products Group.

Sony called the two new widescreen monitors “Hi-Scan rear-projection XBR televisions.” Model KP-57XBR10W and KP-65XBR10W will ship in late October at expected selling prices of $4,499 and $5,499, respectively.

When connected to an external set-top DTV decoder through included HD component video connections, the monitors are capable of displaying HDTV signals in 1080I format, Enhanced Definition 480P signals in its native progressive-scan format, while upconverting Standard Definition 480I signals to a line-doubled 960I format.

The new monitors include Sony’s proprietary Digital Reality Creation (DRC) and Multi Image Driver (with flexible twin-view picture-in-picture functions) circuitry. Images with near-HDTV quality are generated from conventional 480I source material using the DRC circuitry.

Both models also include a new Flash Focus digital convergence system that uses an array of photo sensors to automatically detect and realign colors with the push of a button. Also included is a high-contrast protective screen with antiglare coating that increases brightness, and a micro-focus picture tube that produces a smaller beam spot than conventional CRTs.

The DVP-S9000ES was billed as Sony’s first video product in Sony’s high-end ES series audio line. Designed as a hybrid progress-scan/interlace-scan DVD video player and Super Audio CD player, the unit will also accept standard music CDs, CD-Rs and DVD-Rs. It will ship to ES-authorized dealers in November at a suggested retail price of $1,500.

“The key to the DVP-S9000ES is our new MPEG image processor,” Pacor said. “It utilizes proprietary motion detection and cancellation technologies, as well as separate algorithms for both video and film-originated DVDs. This helps achieve the highest quality 480 progressive video available without the flicker or other artifacts associated with other pull-down methods.”

Also included is a new 12-bit, 54 MHz video digital-to-analog converter, which provides power for both progressive and interlaced signals. A custom memory playback function will also enable users to tailor video adjustments for each individual title.

The DVP-S9000ES includes a number of digital signal processing formats to enhance picture quality, including circuitry to reduce field noise and block noise in a picture. Sony separates the two circuits from a more customary blanket DSP noise reduction circuit to more effectively remove picture artifacts, such as flutter in the grain of field colors and in motion sequences. It also performs artifact correction in specific problem areas while lessening the overall softening of the picture when DSP systems are used.

Highlighting the audio capability of the DVP-S9000ES is Super Audio CD playback capability.

Other new video product introductions include Sony’s 301-disc DVD/CD changers that it says are 40 percent smaller than other DVD/CD mega-changers on the market. The DVP-CS860 and the DVP-CS870D will ship in November at expected selling prices of $599 and $799, respectively.

The DVP-CS870D will add built-in decoding for Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound.

New features in both models include an improved disc-explorer-management system that will enable users to catalog and store an entire movie and music collection.

Discs can be quickly accessed either alphabetically or numerically by trace slot, while a selectable disc-edit mode allows cataloging discs by genre using up to 16 graphic icons. Each title can be further personalized using a disc memo feature that works in conjunction with disc text and the supplied Remote Commander controller or optional keyboard.

A jacket picture feature uses cover art imbedded on many discs, and titles without artwork can be labeled using a jacket image collection disc that carries up to 350 images from some of the most popular movie titles.

A new laser pickup design in the changers will access data “from either side of a disc,” Pacor said.